Cricket Creek Farmstead Cheese Maker – Position Available Immediately
We are looking for a head cheese maker at Cricket Creek Farm to work with the creamery manager and apprentices to make our several award winning cheeses.
Cricket Creek Farm is a small grass-based dairy in Western Massachusetts. We make several award-winning cheeses from the milk of our herd of Brown Swiss and Jersey cows (currently milking about 25 cows). In addition to the cheese, we sell raw milk from our farm store. We also raise pigs and beef, as well as layer hens. We make all our own hay for our cows that we feed out during the winter.
Cheese maker must have experience making a variety of hard and soft cheeses, and experience in sanitation and maintenance of a creamery. Schedule is 6 days per week and includes involvement in all aspects of running our farmstead creamery.
We strive to create the highest quality dairy products in a humane and environmentally sustainable fashion. We are looking for a motivated individual to join our collaborative team and help us realize this vision. This is a unique opportunity to be involved in all aspects of running a farmstead creamery. This is a challenging job that will be extremely rewarding.
Taking the lead on enhancing and enforcing the maintenance and sanitation protocols
Help apprentices as needed when the Creamery Manager is not present
Troubleshoot recipes/inconsistencies as needed and help apprentices refine their practices and work out problems with the cheeses as appropriate
Enforcing schedules, bringing an upbeat and positive attitude, being a leader on the farm. We expect the person in this position to always be on time, always stick to a tight schedule, keep other people on track, and bring positive energy and enthusiasm to work every day.
Responsibilities and Projects:
- Assist Suzy with transition to new apprentices
- Doing brief weekly check-ins with Suzy and each apprentice
- Take the lead on a HAACP project development
- Lead a brief (10 minute) morning meeting each day in the creamery to plan the day and go over the day’s activities
- Review daily and weekly maintenance checklists, make sure that apprentices are completing all enumerated tasks by enforcing and communicating the sanitation regimen.
- Review make-sheets on a weekly basis, making sure that they are being filled out completely and answering any questions that arise about the record keeping
- Assisting apprentices with cheese makes as needed for the makes when Suzy is not present
- Work with Suzy to organize “cheese school” (roughly 8-10x throughout the year)
- Help to create digital records of production, inventory, and affinage practices
- Be the point person for volunteer coordination in the creamery
- Take the lead on equipment troubleshooting, maintenance, repairs
- Keep detailed records of cheese inventory
It is imperative that the person filling this role is very comfortable with both giving and taking direction and oversight. This person will be a leader in relation to the other apprentices, but will not be their boss. This person will work under Topher and Suzy, and take direction from them as appropriate.
This position will be in the creamery 5-6 days per week, with one afternoon of “admin” time to be devoted to correspondences with volunteers, research, and digitization of records.
Qualified individuals should have a minimum of one full year making cheese.
Applicants should also have management experience.
Candidates must be highly motivated, and self-directing. The ability to work independently within a team environment is critical. Strong problem-solving skills are necessary. Attention to detail is a must. Applicants should be well-organized and bring a positive attitude, able to respond to the daily challenges of farming in an upbeat manner.
The Ccheese maker will work six days per week. Hours will be variable based on season, but should expect to work 55-65 hours per week.
The cheese maker will have 22 days off per year, plus an additional 8 days for educational purposes. To qualify, educational opportunities must feature formal instruction, be directly related to cheese making and applicable to work at Cricket Creek Farm.
A minimum commitment of two years is required, with a formal review and evaluation at the one-year point.
Please direct serious inquires to Suzy Konecky: email@example.com with a complete résumé and cover letter, or call the farm at (413) 458-5888. References will be required. Position available immediately.